Sailors spend Saturday cleaning up Butler High

After a long week on post, Chief Petty Officer Suzie Fowler normally spends her Saturdays floating down the Savannah River on a kayak.


Instead, Fowler spent Saturday morning pulling three trash bags full of soda cans and food wrappers from Butler High School's football stadium.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ricardo Munn had college football kickoff games to watch, but he packed hay mulch around trees in the school's parking lot.

They joined nearly 80 other Navy NCOs from Fort Gordon for a cleanup of Butler High School on Saturday.

After a July 31 storm left the school with a quarter-million dollars in damage, the service members worked to make things right.

"We all sat down and said, 'Hey, it would great for us to help,' " said Chief Petty Officer Antisus Dawson, who helped organize the cleanup. "What better way to give back to the community than to help our future -- the kids."

The cleanup ran from 8 a.m. to noon, although Dawson said he and a few others got an early start at 6:45 a.m.

The crew packed mulch around trees, cleaned up debris, cut grass, cleaned the stadium and polished floors.

"Most of us have been on ships, so we're used to buffing decks," Dawson said.

Richmond County provided trash bags, lawn mowers and other equipment, and the service members brought the manpower.

Dawson said those volunteering on Saturday were not new to community service projects.

Navy officers from Fort Gordon worked on a beautification project of The Living History Park in North Augusta on Aug. 21. They also volunteer in Ronald McDonald food drives and Habitat for Humanity projects each month.

"That's part of what we do. With USN (United States Navy) the 'S' is for service."

For Munn, Saturday's project wasn't thought of as a sacrifice.

"It's good to give back. I'll catch the game at noon," he said.